I was reading a comment on the blog yesterday from Piet Osefius who told me about his blog that’s all about the Lumix LX3 camera. The blog is written for the Dutch population but lucky for me, Piet has a language translation feature so, instead of brushing up on my Dutch, I just converted the page to English. He had some great info on the Lumix but something else on his blog caught my eye. It was a post by Piet about the PTLens program for correcting lens distortion. After doing a little research I found that the PTLens program will work as a stand-alone application, a Photoshop plug-in, and a Lightroom external editor. If you are on a Mac, you can also use it in Aperture and iPhoto.
I installed the application for use in Lightroom, which was quite easy. All I had to do was drag the program to my Applications folder and then set it as an additional external editor in my Lightroom preferences.
Once set up, all it takes it a right-click on an image to select PTLens and open up the lens correction program (the application requires the creation of a duplicate image, which is then stacked with the original when you return to Lightroom).
When the program opens, you have several options for correcting distortion, vignette, and chromatic aberration. The thing I really like is that the program reads the metadata from the image and automatically applies the proper distortion correction without having to touch a single button.
There is a grid overlay that can be adjusted to any grid size you wish, which comes in handy when doing perspective corrections. Also, if the program can’t read your metadata you can select your camera make, model, and lens from the drop-downs in the Barrel-Pincushion section.
Overall, I found the program to be extremely easy to use and it does a fantastic job at correcting lens distortion, even better than the Lens Correction filter in Photoshop. The price tag for all this useful correction is $25. Not a bad price for so much functionality. To get a better idea of the capabilities of PTLens you should check out their website and while you are there, take a look at the Examples page. You can also download a trial version, which allows you to correct 10 images.
Take a look at my before and after images from a wide angle shot of a doorway in Malacca.